Airport chaos: Airline books baby alone on different flight than parents


The Graham family and their 13 month old baby. Andrew and Stephanie Braham/James D. Morgan via Getty Images

A young family wanted to fly from Rome to Bangkok. However, the Australian airline Qantas has rebooked the family.

The 13-month-old baby was booked on a different flight than the parents.

The family tried to change the transfer but had to make 55 calls and spent 20 hours on hold to do so.

Australian airline Qantas Airways has booked a 13-month-old baby on a different flight than his own parents. actually had Stephanie and Andrew Braham had a great time during their four-week trip through Europe, they tell Business Insider. At least until they arrive at Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO) in Italy.

The flight, which Stephanie Braham says she booked nine months in advance, was to take her from Rome to Amsterdam and from there to Bangkok in Thailand, where the family would stay overnight and return to Australia the next day.

The couple say the airline KLM, which works with Qantas, told them at the check-in counter that their baby was not part of the booking for the flight from Amsterdam to Bangkok.

“Our baby was on another flight that was scheduled to depart 40 minutes after ours,” Stephanie Braham said. The couple’s flight details are available to Business Insider. “We had originally booked flights through Qantas with British Airways. A few months later I was informed that there was a problem with one of the connecting flights. Qantas rebooked us on these KLM flights over the phone, so I think that’s where the error came from,” Stephanie Braham tells us.

More than 20 hours on the phone

Although their daughter would have sat on their lap during the flight, KLM has told them they cannot take the baby with them as the flight is full. After the family spent 90 minutes discussing the matter with KLM, the plane flew without them.

The two say they spoke to Qantas at the airport, but the company told them the error was not the airline’s fault. Stephanie and Andrew say after six hours at Rome airport they drove to a nearby hotel where they booked a room and immediately contacted Qantas customer service.

According to their own statements, the two tried all night to call the airline to rebook their return flight. They say it was a nightmare to reach customer service because the phone line was cut and they had to keep calling and explaining the whole situation again. In total, the couple told Business Insider, they called Qantas 55 times and spent 20 hours, 47 minutes and 13 seconds speaking to account managers.

“Didn’t know if we’d ever come home!”

The next morning, Qantas informed the parents that they had booked a flight for the afternoon. But the family says they found out at the airport that Qantas had not properly issued the family’s plane tickets.

The couple say they got stuck at Qantas and, in desperation, asked every airline at the airport to get them a flight back to Australia. But all planes were full. “It was so stressful because we didn’t know if we were ever going to come home,” says Stephanie Braham.

Eventually, a Qantas agent called and told them they had been booked on the next available flight home on July 26th. So a total of twelve days after the originally planned departure.

Qantas promises to reimburse hotel costs

When asked about the matter, Qantas apologized to the family in a statement to Business Insider, saying “it was an administrative error” and that the airline would reimburse the cost of the accommodation.

The airline KLM, in turn, did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the events of Stephanie and Andrew Braham. Stephanie Braham tells us that Qantas contacted them on Thursday and told them they would pay them the equivalent of around £140 a night.

The couple estimates that they spent the equivalent of around 10,000 euros out of their own pocket as they also had to pay for accommodation, food, travel and entertainment. And the income it lost over time because she couldn’t work.

This article was translated from English by Christian Mayer. You can find the original here.

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